Why and How Often Kitchen Faucets Go Bad? (Explained!)

Kitchen faucets are one of the most long-lasting and essential pieces of a commodity in a household. However, that does not mean they are everlasting. Faucets can go bad due to unavoidable reasons such as time, usage, build-up, and rust.

Do kitchen faucets go bad?

Yes, kitchen faucets can go bad. Main reasons for faucets to stop working include rust, mineral deposits, leaks, and mold-growth. Build-up, blockages, and clogged lines can also cause premature faucet misbehavior. Lack of proper maintenance and time can similarly be the root cause why. 

What would cause a kitchen faucet to stop working?

Leading causes for kitchen faucets to stop working tend to be the following factors-

Rust

If the faucet is made of sub-par materials, water and moisture will make it rust the fastest. That being said, even casual wear-and-tear can accumulate rust. 

This in turn ruins the interior and exterior of the faucet and makes the faucet stop working. Rust can also lead to blockage which leads to a slow leak dripping down the faucet. If the rust is already visible outside, it is pretty much guaranteed that the inner workings of the faucet are now broken due to the growth of rust. 

Mineral Deposits

Mineral or sedimentary deposits can also cause the faucet to stop working. They usually build up around or within the fitting and result in vital harm to the tap. Tough, unfiltered water is one of the most common explanations for build-up. If left unchecked, the deposits will create an adverse effect on the components inside the faucet. This results in high water bills, growth of mildew, leaking, and eventual breaking of the fixture.

Aerator Blockage

Faucet aerators are small mesh screens that are attached to sink spouts. They are supposed to disrupt the main water stream to smaller sections so the spout doesn’t stream water too much or hard.

If there is no leak from the faucet, blockage could be the next cause. Blocked aerators or clogged pipes can make the kitchen faucet have low water pressure. Aerator or pipes are usually clogged by sediment build-ups such as limescale, oxidization, or debris.

If the aerator or pipe connected to the kitchen faucet is clogged up, it will lead to low flow pressure and so very little to no water will come out. Galvanized pipes have a tendency to clog up the most so that should be noted as well.

Jammed diverter 

A jammed diverter can also be a reason as to why the faucet isn’t working anymore. A diverter is a valve that decides where the water flow will go next. If a chunk of debris broken up from somewhere lodges itself into the valve, it can lead to clogging.

Frozen pipes

If you live in a cold, subzero area, chances are a frozen pipe is the reason why you’re experiencing the lack of water from your faucet. A frozen pipe does not let the water flow into the faucet, despite everything else being okay. Luckily, just unfreezing the pipe will make it start working again.

How long do kitchen faucets last? 

Kitchen faucets are expected to last around 15 to 20 years

However, to make a kitchen faucet last that long despite regular usage, some maintenance is needed. The frequency of use, make and model of the faucet, quality of the water, and whether it has been installed correctly also determine how long a kitchen faucet can last.

Is it hard to change a kitchen faucet?

A kitchen faucet can easily be changed using few common tools. A new kitchen faucet can be a cheap yet effective way of sprucing up the kitchen space. Contemporary faucet design has made changing or installing fixtures fairly beginner and user friendly. 

It is advised that some time is kept in hand when changing or installing a kitchen faucet, especially if never done before. Also, make sure to have all the necessary tools. 

The internet can help to find guides that will make the instructions easier. A lot of manufacturers also have a first-rate technical department and customer care that can provide assistance and guidance.

If it is not your cup of tea, there is no shame in contacting a plumber who will gladly get the job done. Usually installing a faucet is a quick day project, if done properly.

How do you know when you need a new kitchen faucet?

Most sinks and faucets function efficiently and properly with minimal maintenance and cleaning. The largest and the most common problem will likely be leaks, which usually happens with old components or fittings. Such gears can be affordably replaced and the faucet will continue to work as good as new.

It is advised to try to replace the parts of the faucet that seem faulty first, before deciding to go for an entire replacement.

Nevertheless, if it’s the end of the sink’s lifespan, or it somehow got structurally damaged, it is time for some replacement. The general rule of thumb when it comes to getting a new faucet is that if the repair costs are over 30% of the cost of full replacement, it is better to invest in a new one and recycle your old one.

Read more about recycling your old kitchen faucet.

Also, you can check several more issues about kitchen faucets and their solutions below.

Faucet Low Pressure, Thump, Loose, Whistle, Sputter – and their solutions!

Reasons of Kitchen Faucet Dripping & Solution!

Reasons of Kitchen Faucet Pulsate & Solution!

Frozen Kitchen Faucet & Solution!

Signs you need a new kitchen faucet can look like 

  • Continuous leaking has led to mold and mildew growth 
  • The faucet is damaged and chipped to the point of distortion
  • Needs constant repairs
  • The parts are worn out and/or corroded, repair one gear does not make do anymore
  • Aesthetic reasons such as it looks outdated and is not of suitable taste and style

How much does it cost to have a kitchen faucet replaced?

The price of a kitchen faucet varies widely for it depends on who you hire and where you live. It also is contingent on whether you’re doing it yourself or contacting a plumber. The problem itself also dictates the price, how many faucets are needed to repair, which parts are being replaced, and so on.

That being said, installing a faucet will on average set you back for $200 to $500. This pricing includes removing, replacing the old faucet as well as the readjustment of water lines. The hourly rates plumbers tend to charge vary from $50 an hour to $150 per hour. It should be noted that most plumbers include both the cost of labor and materials. Some however can charge separately for the labor, and so materials will add to the total cost.

Only the faucet itself is priced around $100 to $350, so keep that in mind when budgeting for a replacement.

How often should faucets be replaced?

Whilst faucets are one of the most long-lasting fittings of the kitchen, they are not built to be everlasting. Even with proper maintenance, a faucet can go bad, due to breaking down from constant wear and tear. The age of the feature also determines how soon it can be replaced. Old faucets tend to run inefficiently, resulting in high water bills. 

A faucet should be replaced once the lifespan has decreased, warning signs being visible mineral deposits, rusting, and more commonly, constant leakage despite multiple fixes.

Even if faucets promise to last for 15-20 years, if it shows any of the signs depicted above, it is time for a replacement. The good side of the replacement is once it’s done, you’re set for working faucets for a long time.

How to maintain faucet from getting bad?

Maintaining your kitchen faucet means prolonging its longevity. Kitchen faucet maintenance includes repairing and replacing any little part inside once worn out, cleaning it on a regular basis, and getting rid of the hard water deposits.

It is highly recommended to know the finish of the faucet before cleaning it. Certain chemicals and cleaning tools react badly with the material or coating of the fitting, and so can scratch or give it a dull finish. Check with your manufacturer to find out the finish and ask for the recommended way to clean it.

Common maintenance practices are

  • Regularly wiping the fixture with a damp cloth and drying it with something soft and dry
  • Clearing out mineral build-up using vinegar bags
  • Removing and cleaning the faucet aerators once a year
  • Scheduling a yearly plumbing check-up

Faucets are a vital part of the kitchen space and should be appropriately maintained to extend their lifespan. Proper cleaning and repairing act as a stitch in time and so issues such as rust and build-up can no longer affect the functionality of a faucet and it can continue to last for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Anti Scald on Kitchen Faucets? 

Do Kitchen Faucets Come with Hoses?

Are Kitchen Faucets & Fixtures Recyclable?

Faucet Low Pressure, Thump, Loose, Whistle, Sputter